Friday, September 30, 2011
Meiji Fruity Lemon Chocolate
This review represents what is likely to be the last of the "summer" snack offerings that I'll be covering in 2011. Lemon has been the shining star of the setsuden (energy conservation) summer in Japan. Somebody somewhere decided that the sharp sourness of lemon was equated with "ice" and "cool". Perhaps you're supposed to be braced by the desire to pucker up, though I can't say that I personally have ever encountered a lemon sweet that wasn't sufficiently saturated with sugar that I have found myself in the remote vicinity of a pucker.
This is part of Meiji's line of stick chocolates, which were introduced some time in the last year or so. My first encounter with this particular line was with a cinnamon version. At that time, I thought it was a one-off release, but the general line must have been successful as now I'm seeing many flavors including Earl Grey, ginger, and mint. This line is called "my choco box". I guess that it serves people who are possessive about their treats.
There are 6 sticks in the package. Each is about 30 calories for about 5 grams. My guess is the total volume is not dissimilar to a Hershey's Kiss, though the presentation makes the experience different. At normal room temperature (not hot, not cold), the chocolate is on the soft side and has no snap at all. Frankly, I wasn't fond of the texture as I like chocolate to be a bit peppier when I bite into it. This yields like an overcooked noodle.
The box says that this is made with 26% lemon juice and the lemon is quite present, but not nearly as sour as I might like. There's a missing citric acid bite which has either been consumed by the cloying sweetness of white chocolate or too much sugar. My husband, who likes things sweeter than me, liked this fine. He felt the balance of flavor and sweetness was quite good. I found myself wondering if it was all a bit too one-note for me and if I might have liked it better if there had been greater depth to the flavor such as added vanilla, more salt, or another citrus addition.
For me, I think I'd like this better if it was refrigerated first to make the chocolate firmer and the flavor was enjoyable if on the sweet side. I feel it's unfair to give it an indifferent rating even though I personally would not buy a box for myself again. That being said, if my husband bought a box for himself (and he did say he'd buy this again), I'd certainly eat a piece of it. I'm giving this a "happy" rating because I think it's good, even though it's not an ideal sweet for someone with my particular tastes.